Health Issues for Drivers
A recent issue of “USA Today” featured an article about health concerns for truckers.
We think of trucking as a physical job. However, although there is some physical work in the loading and unloading of the truck, it is primarily a sedentary job – not too different from an office job from a physical perspective. It’s just that the trucker sits in the truck seat while the office worker sits at a desk. From an exercise perspective, they are much the same with the same health challenges.
According to the article, a recent Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index found transportation workers to have the highest obesity rate of any U.S. industry. They also have higher rates of high blood pressure and smoking than the public at large, as well as higher rates of sleep apnea, which can affect their ability to stay awake as they drive.
Other similarities that are detrimental to health also exist. Office workers are known for sharing the donuts in the break room while the trucker eats fast food snacks while driving. Both are sitting down most of the day and eating more junk food than they should.
Truckers should drink more water and less soda or other high-sugar drinks and eat more fruit snacks than chips. They also need to program time for exercising. We know it’s important for drivers to cover as many miles as they can, but they still need to squeeze in the time to keep healthy. Some truck stops are now offering some healthy food choices, and smart drivers will look for those.
In the long run, healthy drivers are safer drivers, and they’ll be able to drive for more years.